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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  April 29, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

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run out the clock. so congress, one particular committee, house committee that was run by waxman is sabini these documents and saying you've got to turn this over, we are carrying out an oversight function. and bush is claiming his executive privilege repeatedly, time and time again. and then eventually just the clock stops as he leaves office, so in practice he's able to expand executive privilege. however, the underlying rationale is fundamentally flawed. the second case has to do with u.s. attorney firings. now, this began right after his second term victory. the bush administration, particularly the department of justice, get a comprehensive overview of the all u.s. attorneys in the united states to eventually this was a two-year study, and they decide to remove a dozen u.s. attorneys. the public, actually the press got wind of this year reports
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came out in the senate and house judiciary committees decided to launch investigations because there's questions of misconduct over how the process was run, but also the bases of the decisions, you know, with a five because executing, or they were prosecuting a case that the bush administration didn't want. so when these investigations started, this isn't the thing about commodity, interbranch exchanges. congress asked for documents. usually the executive branch gives it to them. here, the bush administration said no, they stonewalled. both committees, thousand senate judiciary committees, decided to issue subpoenas. the bush administration decided to claim executive privilege. eventually things can do ahead, and the house judiciary committee decided to issue a contempt citation. while this is going on, the department of justice issued a memo, legal memo. and this memo claimed that
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current and former presidential aides have an absolute immunity from compelled congressional testimony. i mean, this is an absolutely remarkable statement to be made by any president. and it's one that was unprecedented, has no basis in the law, no bases in history. you know, no president, even if you're talking about somebody decline executive privilege on the pardon power has absolute immunity from compelled congressional testimony. but the bush administration was claiming this. so congress decides, or the house of representatives decides to vote on the contempt citation. i saw the contempt citation has to be enforced by the district of colombia u.s. attorney. the same day the vote occurred, the doj and the white house say no, we are not enforcing contempt citation. so what does the house left to
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do. they have to come empower their lawyer to go to the federal court and to the d.c. court system to get a judicial order to enforce the contempt citation to exactly what they do. and the d.c. district court judge in the case ultimately issues an opinion that basically rejects the theory of absolute immunity. says there's no such thing, no such thing and lockout no such thing in history. it is baseless. however, the bush administration, and by the time this is going on, it's 2008. the administration is just whining out the clock. late 2008 in the bush administration decides to appeal the case to the circuit court. circuit court issued a stay, and the issue a brief, opinion things look, this is all moot. bush is leaving office, there's going to be a new president at the start of the year. there will be a new congress.
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since there's going to be new political branches, let them work out a compromise. ultimately, and epa? no, and u.s. attorney firing case, in practice bush was able to expand executive power, or unilateral executive power. however, again, the history and law was not on his side. now, although bush's claims were inherently flawed and likely contributed to a downgrading of his constitutional privilege, there's a couple of impacts that his time in office had, will have on executive privilege and his successors. because bush's actions, it's going to become, this is going to case under president obama, politically difficult for future presidents to claim executive privilege. at least outright claiming executive privilege. so far president obama has not made a claim of executive
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privilege. a fumble his claim of executive privilege. however, he has refused to allow top level white house policy advisers to testify before congress. in addition, obama has been uncooperative in a senate committee investigation did with the fort hood shooting. so, there's resistance even in a president, current president claims transparency, too. fully cooperate with congress and really it has been obama's white house counsel even said, you know, we don't want to diminish presidential power. and this was a remarkable claim from a president who said he is going to be open to congress, he was going to do things differently than bush but this pattern fits with my assessment that bush made executive privilege claims to politically unacceptable in the short term so the president, the pushback on congressional investigations
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are going to go underground. so in the end it is too soon to determine bush's legacy. however, in practice bush is left presidential power in a stronger position, vis-à-vis congress than what he found. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, mitch. we're going to hear one more formal presentation before going to questions and discussion, and at that point everyone on the panel will engage the questions. that last speaker is steven schier who is the condit professor of clinical science at carleton college. like everybody else he's written a lot of books on the presidency and various presidents. and he asked to be last, assuring me, he is laughing already, assuring me that in eight to 10 minutes he could wrap it all up and provided a satisfying conclusion to what we have done.
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okay, give us satisfaction. >> oh, my. i've been sandbagged. i'd like to thank you for having me in arkansas. i move through a snowstorm in minneapolis to get you. now i'm besieged by thunderstorms. and hope to get back to minnesota. i also want to thank my fellow panelists because they've been very helpful to me in the last couple days. one of my book projects involves figuring out how the american political system is dysfunctional, and they give me boatloads of evidence. and alex just this morning sprung one on me with ideological war machines. i can work on that, what an image, right? sunshine in her comments i thought was very helpful in describing the relationship between microtargeting and governance, something i hadn't really fully developed in my mind before but i think it's a very important linkage. and mitch's comments about the growth of presidential power actually central to what i want to talk about today. but i want to start with a quote
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from bert because bert had a very good comment the first night we met, and it sort of the premise for my concluding remarks here today. byrd said the other night that presidents often come in wanting be changed. but as he said, quote, big change on a continuous basis is a mirage, cannot be done. i think a lot of modern presidents are haunted by the ghost of franklin delano roosevelt and think to get in a you need a new deal. and issues very difficult for presidents to do this. i would simply be called to you, i think was in the second debate with john mccain that barack obama was asked, you want to do all these things, you what reform healthy, completed refigure foreign policy, you want to do a whole bunch of other things, can you do this all at once? and he said yes. i can do this all at once, which is also sort of what george bush
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was saying, and also i think bill clinton was saying in 1993. the fact is presidents cannot do it all at once, but he often tried to do it all at once. and i guess what i'd like to do to illustrate the difficulties they have been trying to do it all at once if you talk about some research i've done presidential political capital. that's a phrase you've heard before and, in fact, george w. bush and his first press conference after reelection said i earned political capital and i plan to spend it. what do we mean by political capital? i will briefly defined here as popular support for a president and support for the president and congress. there's more to it but those are the two things i really want to emphasize. and in some of my recent research i've examined through a series of indicators presidential political capital since franklin roosevelt, since the first the gallup polls in 1937. and having a lot of political capital is necessary if you're
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going to bring about big change on a continuous basis. you need and the political capital, but what i discovered is presidents, particularly since 1965, have a shortage of political capital. lower levels than before 1965, and also more variable levels than in 1965, to briefly summarize resident since 1965 compared to those of 1930s and 1961965 and have had lower job approval, fewer fellow partisans, and less voting support in congress, less approval of the party, and usually encountered an increasingly adverse public-policy mood as they governed. specifically, average job approval has dropped, that job approval has dropped, reflecting greater polarization and president of performance which has been discussed here today. the proportion of fellow partisans in the public is lower. and has also become more volatile across years, across presidential terms and across
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presidencies. support, voting support for presidents and congress is lower and more variable, and the number of fellow partisans in the house and senate has fallen and become more volatile. so you see presidents have been seeking to accomplish a lot with political capital that is it diminished supply and often more variable than it was before. so if you're using fdr as ramallah, i've got news for you, the world has changed. the world is changed since 1965. and i think many presidents discovered that to the chagrin all too slowly, and it gets them into trouble. specifically because i think when presidents discover their political capital shrinking they fall into what i call the presidential power trap. and what is the power trap? , me just describe some of it. while presidential political capital has been streaky and becoming more volatile over the last several decades, presidential powers have been increasing and presidents have been seeking to increase their
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powers. and i don't think there's a quantity of a relationship between these two trends. the frustrations of working with diminished political capital lead you to operate unilaterally when you can with power. and the problem can here's the real risk for presidents, i think we've heard of this before, overreaching, overconfidence, and it often produces disastrous political result for presidents. specifically, let me just read a little bit to elaborate on the to the presidential power trap, making political capital is hard and frustrating work for presidents nowadays. but in seeking to maintain its presidents and counter constraints pushback from congress, courts, bureaucracy interest groups, et cetera. the modern presidency grants many formal powers and presidents have been grabbing more of them, as mitch nation with executive can give you a list of appointment, commanded troops overseas, re- organization of authority,
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executive orders, signing statements, executive privilege, white house czars, all of these things have been developing in the last so decades. i think in reflection of the political problems president have faced. that basic calculation i think becomes this for many presidents. look, i've lost my total capital, i guess my power to persuade them so i would just order things. and claim more powers whatever i can. why not use the power while you have it if political capital has vanished? here's the track. when you use those powers you can destroy for the your political capital. and richard nixon's presidency is the signal example of this, i would argue. were as blue coal capital shrank and his assertions to formal power further endangered him, and actually ended his presidency. i think jimmy carter took his political capital for granted, and by the time it was gone he paid a price in 1980.
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reagan gradually relied on more executive power and unilateral actions as political capital problems grew, and i think iran-contra is partially explained by that. george herbert walker bush exerted more powers that but he never found a stable basis and domestic political capital, and is popular drop from 91% down in the '30s by the time he got -- by the time he failed to get reelected. i think bill clinton chronically faced a possible capital shortage. he never won 50% of the vote, and certainly later in his term found his powers formally under attack by congress. bush's views of war powers i would argue in iraq really helped destroy a lot of his political capital, and produce a very difficult second term. so, and i think just to talk briefly about bush in this regard, several traits that the panelists came up with over the last couple of days that i think
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contributed to bush's tendency to burn up his capital and assert his power, short agenda, absence of follow-through, and big ambition. we sort of agreed on those traits. you put that in this situation and to have someone who is going to be pushing ahead and a certain powers, and in a way that burns up the political capital. to me this is the central political problem barack obama faces. is the political capital has already shown. his congressional support is down. his job approval is now in the mid '40s, right? and in a situation like that, what's -- lets us are somehow here. because i don't have the capital to persuade people, i'm going to have to do some unilateral power of assertions. now, i would just leave you with a few questions about the. we does this cycle and? if each president starts pushing for more power. at what point does our governmental system become at the national level effectively presidential?
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and i don't think -- i think hamilton would be okay with that but i know james madison wouldn't have been okay with it. and certainly not something foreseen by any of the founders. i think even hamilton in his wildest families -- panties could have enjoyed this much. can we bring an end to this cycle where of the clinical frustration presidents claim more power and in that way produce difficulties for themselves politically and also i think produces some unbalanced in the national political system. the constitutional implications of this are very large, as mitch was indicating with a unitary presidency. so i hope you ask some questions about this, and anything else that other people have brought up in the panel but it's been a wonderful experience for me, and we look forward to your questions. [applause] >> thank you, steve. i clearly am satisfied.
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for a while at least. it is your turn. welcome your questions. please come to the microphones with questions or requests to discuss something that they'll may not have yet put on the table. don't be shy. please. >> hello. i'm an international relations major, and i had a good time listening to your great presentations. my question is, how about, how would you evaluate bush's dealing with the conflict, and also for another question about,
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we know that candidates -- [inaudible] but during the iraqi war they did not. so would you explain why they took that position? thank you very much. >> perhaps just jump in whenever you want. perhaps i should go first on that second question. on iraq, why did canada not support the united states in its decision to invade iraq in 2003? it was a very controversial decision in canada. a lot of people who are very worried about whether we are doing the right thing by saying no thanks. but in the end it comes down to a fairly simple explanation, namely, you remember perhaps that colin powell and tony blair
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were very adamant about advising president bush that if he was to consider military action, he should do so with a clear u.n. security council resolution. that by the way was an example when bush listened carefully to powell and rice, and decided to indeed take the route of going to the united nations, which cheney did not agree with. but at the end, most other countries in the world believed that u.n. security council resolution 1441 required one more step before military action was possible. so when the bush administration felt they couldn't get the vote, the next step, and decided to go ahead with it, coalition without
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the u.n. security council resolution. canada essentially said if the u.n. is not part of the road, then we are not on the road. mind you, meanwhile, we had -- well, a fair amount of canadians helping underneath the radar. so, there was politically -- it was politically impossible for us to contribute openly, but, in fact, militarily we were there to some extent. now, you notice that the next government after the liberals, the conservative government of stephen harper, they realized how sensitive this was. because for a long time that people would pick up the phone -- would no longer pick up the phone when the culprit that is literally too. i talk to people in the pentagon who told me that's what happened if we were quite nervous because we're collecting all the time
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about stuff, and sorry, call display is on. so, our conservative government in 2006, they said we have to fix this image. so we basically rebuild our army since 2006, and we have been serving in afghanistan. and there we have whatever doubts they were in the american mind. i think we are compensated for it by serving besides you, and continued to do so, in afghanistan. >> would others on the panel like to comment? >> is the mic on? i think the arab-israeli question is a good one. i thought one of the things we see and president bush psychologically does seem to have a tendency towards literally adhd. i think that's partly, i think every right i, never did quite as well in school as his real intelligence would suggest that
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i think he does have a problem with attention sometime. i thought the roadmap announced shortly before the invasion of iraq, i think partly for reasons of international politics, but i think was genuinely attempt to bring the israelis and palestinians together but i think it made passionate need a lot of american energy for the president on down, a lot of follow-through with which the administration did not provide but i think that's one of the examples may be the present coming up with a decent plan with others, but not really bothering to implement. >> there's also, no, the fact, i guess that 800-pound gorilla in the room, there's a quite powerful israeli lobby as well. bush's father came into contact, barack obama has come into contact with a. i think it is deeply important for the republicans to pick up
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that segment of the population, of the jewish population i guess in particular, but also the evangelical christian population that is deeply, deeply committed to israel and to the status quo. >> i'm not sure the israeli lobby -- a lot more to it. >> if i could add something to the discussion, i think some of the panel here have noted, there's a lack of deliberation in many stages in the bush administration, and i think that carried across also in the international sphere. so if there wasn't a lot of coordination with either allies or enemies in the islamic world, as evidenced by just not taking into account some of the customer contacts in places like pakistan and afghanistan when making decisions about foreign policy, that's also been a problem, not just from the
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administration but going forward for the american military establishment and the political system as well. >> other questions? >> high. thank you for coming for the discussion today. we really appreciate it. i am and i i may give it my question is can would you agree necessarily that during bush's presidency, american foreign policy was characterized by a desire for the u.s. to take on the duties of what some would call like a world hegemony? while in the obama administration it kind of seems like an emphasis on opposite where they have kind taken taken the backseat concerning libya and other issues? with that being said, do you think this trend will continue?
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and also will that be good or bad? >> i can say something because of the word foreign policy -- [laughter] >> i do not buy the idea that george w. bush was trying to establish world hegemony at all, nor getting oil from iraq, nor settling. all those explanations don't cut it. there were some people in, you know, in the administration that had ambitions about world hegemony, but i don't think they really carried today with george dubya bush. my concern is not with american strength but with american weakness. and i think america, relative american weakness relative to the rivals out there, and the challenges out there, and your economic resources and your fiscal management, weakness of the united states is a much greater challenge and danger to
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international relations and too much strength. i think president obama showed rate restraint and libya because if you think about what steve has said image of said about how presidents are tempted to use the extra little bit of executive powers here and there, think of obama, he has faced tremendous amount of criticism over health care. is under a lot of stress in terms of the deficit and so on. so it would've been tempting for him to do something in libya, to change the agenda, and he showed a lot of restraint. and i think that's good, so for. the only vulnerability there though is that most of the world, including us, are wondering what does he really believe, what does he stand for. what is the bottom line for him? how does he see americans, and american security? what does he think the threats are? so we are happy with his restraint. we're happy with his careful deliberative approach.
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but we do hope there is a bottom line there somewhere. >> if i can jump in, i think that since secretary gates made it clear that america is involved in two wars now and if there's a third one, the defense secretary will resign, and lots of other unpleasant things may happen. i think, i think one of the great failings of the administration, and yet i think maybe this adhd called it, dashed adhd qualities. someone who at the time was a bad present got 40 years later looks a lot better pick something that harry truman did instead of the cold war was come together with producer isolationist republicans and make a very coherent case with the soviet union with a serious long-term global threat. and when you face 10 or 15 or 20 or strategic threats, you can't face it with one political party.
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you really have to have something of a bipartisan consensus. i think after 9/11, there was a moment when president bush could have done that with the democratic party. i think he wasn't inclined to but i think many of the democratic would probably were not inclined to either. but i think had he been able to do that and develop the sort of 20 or strategic foreign policy consensus that was needed, our role in the world would be much more secure. our enemies and allies would have a better sense of what to expect it and our own military, and state department would have a better sense of what resources they need and how they should make long-term plans. and i think that was a great failure. >> among many issues, probably also this one. that is, the extent to which the u.s. should be unilaterally asserted, or multilaterally involved with the world. and i think george w. bush
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reflected the absurd side of that, and i think particularly true when dick cheney was involved in decisions. i don't think there's any doubt as to where cheney stood. all of this is also consistent with the notion that being a decider is equal to being highly assertive in terms of the american definition of its involvement in world politics. now having said that, 9/11, turns out to be an absolutely critical event, i think, because bush, if you recall, he campaigned and came into office with actually a rather low profile of what the united states should be doing a broad, much lower than the clinton presidency had. obama on the other hand i think reflects the democratic party's leadership view, which is you've
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got to pick your fights very carefully when you do. you ought to bring allies to the table. make sure that, at this point we were, as bob just mentioned, very, very overcommitted. ..
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>> i think i'd add a lot of differences that seem apparent between obama and bush as far as foreign policy are actually largely rhetorical. no matter what we say is our policy, the u.s. is the power in the global system. that's not likely to change for another 100 years at least. for example, the operations in libya, a lot was made of british and french participation. and come to find out a few hours after it all began, 95% of the missiles had been fired by the u.s., not the allies. i think it's important to understand that. i mean presidential declarations are not always reflective of the actual magnitude of the u.s. presence in that type of environment. >> yeah, i think libya is a got example of some of the broader themes that i was mentioning.
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the president goes into libya without consulting congress in advance, unlike what other presidents had done, notifying the leadership in the power exertion. that's a power exertion in the projection. congress does not rally uniformly to the president's side. the public does not rally to the president's side. it's a power assertion with the media political cost. that's my syndrome. >> well, i think also taking back on what scott said, obama, there's a very clearly different view of the world. if we look at the inauguration speech, he does acknowledge that a large portion of the world has been exploited by colonial behaviors, not just only of europe, but america. we're starting to see that in his foreign policy. particularly how he responded to egypt and libya. there's going to be pushback.
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it totally goes against the grain in what we have seen in american foreign policy. >> i'm going to partly disagree. i think in the foreign tragedy, one the points that jacob's made, one we came in. we're not nation building. we have to be modest elsewhere. this was after the 9/11 strike any enemies whenever. there was the democracy building one. in the last two years, there was one of relative modesty and let's be very careful. in a way, you could argue that president obama's foreign policy is really a continuation of the last two years of the bush foreign policy, including, as i said, leaving bob gates in charge of secretary of defense. >> what phrase, are you moderate or engage first? so the phases are different. >> good question. >> that's a tie with what bob is saying to what alex said earlier about how bush's processes seem
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to vary. his processes seem to vary in foreign policy. we have the stereotype that was he is the unilateralist cowboy that was going to blow up the world. actually what's happening is six different foreign policy and varying policy processes. more so probably than any recent president. we're still trying to figure out why. >> if i may, i want to echo steve's point about the constitution and law. i mean we're talking about unilateral presidential power. bush went into iraq with an authorization to use military force. obama bombs without the consent and without consulting congress. a few days afterwards, we sends a letter to congress where he mentions the war powers, but doesn't invoke it. in fact, there's only been one president since the war powers resolution was passed in the early 1970s that did invoke it. it was president ford. that was after the military
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action in question. no president has invoked the way the war powers resolution was supposed to be legitimately be exercised. it's just surprising that you have a president in obama that said during the campaign that he would consult with congress on an offensive military action. libya is one. you are bombing military infrastructure. it's clearly -- it's clearly calls for a at least consultation with congress as required by the war powers resolution, if not an authorization for use of force that's required by the constitution. and either of those were done by obama. >> secondly, alexander hamilton for here if a minute. [laughter] >> this is an emergency situation. i mean deliberation is going to mean defeat basically. and not that i'm justifying this constitutionally, but this is the dilemma that president's
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face. are they going to act in a circumstances in which to not act means that you will, in fact, have been defeated? >> was this really an emergency situation? i mean congress went on recess. and obama starting bombing. i mean he had two weeks where civilians were being slaughtered. there was two weeks before, civilians being slaughtered. to me it's not an emergency circumstances. even if it was, he had ample time, two weeks to consult not only the heads of the house and senate, but all members of the congress and seek congressional authorization. i mean this isn't as if we're being attacked. libya in terms of national interest, it's a stretch to say what's going on in libya. i'm not saying that civilian casualties aren't something that we should not be concerned with. but it's not an international interest to necessarily be the world's policeman, and it doesn't really serve the constitution to not consult congress.
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i mean it is the height of presidential power what we're talking about with the war power. executive privilege, mostly there's a domestic issue. but war power, it's something entirely different. >> just to make one comment on that. then let me let it go. obama was spending a good bit of time, actually with nato, trying to get air forces to step up in this so that the u.s. roll could resume blue be somewhat more in the shadows and background. >> let me say i don't have a problem with the ad hoc decision making. i wish it was in the service of broader agreed upon bipartisan doctrine. >> bipartisan doctrine require a mitigation of polarization. that's a secular trend that sunshine has informed us that predates bush is ongoing. obama is not less polarizing.
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this maybe the new normal. if you want bipartisan, you'll probably have to go back to 1950. >> i want to thank all of you for coming to our campus. i have a question that's more domestic policy related. we've heard a lot about bush's decision making process. which is great insight. can we talk about katrina? i'd love to hear some insight from the experts about the decision-making process there. i don't think it's an utter failure. as a louisiana resident, i'm haunted by it still. what went wrong there? how is that a new kind of function of the presidency to deal with, you know, natural disaster in that capacity that becomes racial, economic, and political? >> i'm glad that someone brought it up. i was going to interject. when we look at domestic policy, we have to talk about katrina and immigration. because those two issues deal
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directly with issues of citizenship rights. when we look at hurricane katrina and the disaster and the failure of the government to respond effectively, what we're seeing is exactly what has been presented in the earlier discussions. and we can see it in bush's policy, particularly his failure to form a cohesive civil rights agenda. and actually in his effort actually somewhat changed what he viewed as federal rights particularly in interjecting the concept of faith-based initiative and actually reversing some executive orders that has been directed towards federal agencies about how to fund federally funded contracts. but with hurricane katrina, what's interesting is when we look at 9/11, bush expanded his power when it comes to natural disasters, or disasters particularly as a result of the 9/11 with the development of homeland security. he still has the powers.
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when we look at the timeline of what happened with katrina, there is a failure to understand and what i call marginalized. we have still failed to address those persons within the country. we saw those marginalized communities and how their need was larger when hurricanes hit florida and other parts of the country. so one there's an institutional factor as far as how do we respond to persons that need government assistance the most? two, there was also issue of cronism. to have a catastrophe as effective as fema shows how effective it was. we do see the failure does reflect this bubble that we've talked about the last few days, particularly in who president bush actually spoke to, who his
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advisor, who he did not talk to, his understanding of the issue, and it did seem to look at some of the documentation when he received information, how he responded that there did seem to be a perception that he did not have an interest, that he didn't have an understanding, even when he was asked certain questions, particularly about the levies, and his response was that no one knew that levies would break. he did know. they were informed several days before the levies would be breached. there again goes the decision ab the decision-making process. i'm not going to get into a psychological decision about him and the adhd, i'm not going to go there. there is the admission of his loyalty, but also the failure of government to address the institutional factors that contribute to the population that is need more in the situations of natural disasters. >> i want to add -- i think
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there was an unprecedented disaster. and government bureaucracies don't do well with unprecedented disasters. setting up the department of homeland security greatly weakened fema. michael brown, the fema director wrote a series of memos how it would make the agency less effective. in fact, michael brown was looking for a good job when katrina hit. he thought it wasn't going to work. he turned out to be might. michael chertoff was this at least, a very good judge, he was an, i thought, an effective leader of the homeland security. yet, bush kept him on as a manner of loyalty. which is disturbing. i'd also add that kathleen blanco who wasn't terribly cooperative with the federal respond deserves some of the blame. some of it is the immensity of the disaster. some of it there's a lot of blame to go around in terms of
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incompetence decision making. >> managing the crisis was not well done. actually early 2005 was a bad year for carl rove. because they preferred to try to reform social security instead of immigration. and in his memoir, he says i'm sorry, we shouldn't have done that. we should have tried immigration and then worried about restructured social security. then it was rove who suggested you don't need to land, just look out the window. of course, that become a lasting image of him looking out the window. >> right, and the consequences of katrina on public opinion were quite severe. if we were to point to the things that by the end of bush's term in office really drove democrats and republicans to extremes, one was the iraq war, which was actually much more gradual over the course of his term in office, but katrina, boom. >> i think you can say the iraq
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war coast 25 points in standing over two and a half years, and katrina cost 15 points in two and a half days. >> and didn't come back. >> if i could respond to the general question about domestic policy. first, quickly with katrina, it's certainly the case that here was the absence again of bush's what ifs. what if this, what if that happened -- but it was also a function as bob mentions of, you know, institutional issues and reorganization issues and the fact is that in the creation of the department of homeland security, fema's traditional roles got down played. they weren't in much position to address those. furthermore, there was a lot of -- again, i agree with the notion there's oo lot of blame to go around. the locals and the governor of louisiana, the mayor of new orleans, weren't adequately prepared either.
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so there was a compounded miss, i think it would be fair to say. i don't think exclusively bush's fault. he suffered a lot more it. he did have some role to play in the failure to respond adequately. >> well, let's say the army corps of engineers were building the levy system decades ago. [laughter] >> i want to point to two particular problems we haven't addressed. one which resulted in the financial meltdown in 2008, which we are still living, and again i want to emphasize that's not also -- also not exclusively bush's mess. that we did nothing to alleviate it. but it was in part the mythology that if we don't regulate financial institutions they will do everything right anyway. okay. that was a big, big mistake. it is being only partially addressed. much more severely addressed elsewhere than it is here in the
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united states. and that goes back certainly in the asean days of the clinton administration. but it was continued by the bush administration. the second thing is the fiscal irresponsibility of the bush administration. they spent a lot of stuff, you know, the war in iraq, afghanistan, these are not cheap. the prescription section of medicare. a lot of spending commitments with no revenue coming in. and no plans to re -- bring the revenue in. the big tax cuts, it's kind of interesting to say now, the big tax cuts were justified on the grounds that we were at a very prosperous economic climate, the money ought to go back to the people that went back to sort of
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disproportionally to the very wealthy. now the argument is we're in a recession. we can't have tax cuts, of course, for two more years. they were passed only a temporary basis on exactly the same grounds that obama got the health care patient -- affordable -- whatever it is. patient protection act. i can never remember it's full title. which was to bypass the usual processes to reconciliation, requiring only majorities. that continues, frankly, to be at the basis of the fiscal mess that we're in. which is it's not just too much spending, that's part of the equation. but it's also too little revenue. we're at the lowest revenue of revenue intake in about 60 years. so that is a big problem and that is not believe me exclusively obama's fault by any stretch of the imagination.
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>> i want to add in two things on that. one is that policymakers always learn from history. i think that some things that reagan -- the failure to win the reelection of the george h.w. brought george w. bush. we're an aging society. to baby boomers, we are working less, starting fewer businesses, and requiring more in terms of medicare, medicaid, social security, et cetera. >> i'm counting on you. >> yes. to make lots of money. that's our underlying fiscal dilemma. it's the same as the dilemma in japan and europe. and the policymakers of either or neither party has done a terrible job facing up to it. >> my name is christian lindbergh, i had a question, about the economy, that's on the minds of many americans.
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specifically in the regards to the decision making process behind the bailout and not intervening in the collapse of lehman brothers, just as overall economic policy from this whole presidency and how you think history will judge that? >> do you want to me? okay. why don't i start off with it? >> moral hazard. >> okay. right. the decision not to intervene in lehman brothers might have been crucial in generating or speeding up the financial collapse. but it was, you know, i think the ongoing conventional wisdom that one shouldn't do that. that's what markets are there to do; right? it wasn't done. of course the effect was it would spread panic amongst the investment houses and banks and
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everybody was holding on to whatever money they had, and not trusting any other financial institution. so in the end, that might -- that probably was a mistake. maybe an unavoidable mistake given, you know, the general take on what ought to be done. the bailouts, you know, there's been a lot made of that politically. but i'd like you to consider first of all that the proposal -- initial proposal to do the bailouts game from the treasury secretary and the bush administration, hank paulsen. it would have been catastrophic, i don't think there's any other word, to use if there had not been bailouts of the financial institutions one could argue about gm and chrysler, although i'd say that was pretty important too. if the argument is you don't do tax cuts during the recession, you also don't do -- you also
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don't fail to rescue rescuable industries during a recession of the sort. which would have been just deepened further the recession. so on that, you know, both administrations, the bush administration and the obama administration have their hands in it, they both did the right thing, in my estimation, and we should be grateful that they did. >> let me just talk about the kind of electoral consequences. because i think -- there are a lot of people who assume, right, bush made it impossible for john mccain, you know, to win the election because of the economic collapse. in fact, that's not the case. if you look at the dynamics of public opinion during the campaign, people were already really settled on candidates. they had already really settled on obama in large part because of the state of the economy
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prior to the actual economic collapse. so it's, you know, i think that in terms of, you know, the criticism that, you know, bush has heard, particularly from tea party types. he kind of made brawl the -- made obama the winner on the access. >> i want to jump in two communities, not bailing out lehman brothers probably was a mistake. there was a serious moral hazard if you are too big to bail, we're going to bail you out. we're going to get more responsible on the part of corporate ceos and traders. that is disturbing. second, i find fun to watch. when the bush administration was doing bailouts, democrats were appalled. now they are doing the same
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thing, the republicans are appalled. i'm enjoying it. >> that brings the forwardization. one the things we have to worry about with the financial reform, it hasn't diversitied or reconcentrated the accumulation of financial power in the a few houses. that still exists. and we still are a whole bunch that are too big to fail. that has not been structure rally altered. whether it should be is beyond my pay grade. i can't get into that. the broader problem of polarization is particularly important going forward for the president. we are facing some pretty momentous decisions this year about a death limit, budget solution free to the short term or to the long term. and i think many people, myself included, would believe that probably the most effective and perhaps the only likely solution is bipartisan. yet we have a blocking system
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with partisan polarization. and i would not design a system like this to solve a problem like this. >> you have to keep in mind, just to follow up on what steve is saying, we have to remember the subprime mortgage crisis that started all of this. and i would agree you need a bipartisan or -- bipartisan environment in which you can make pragmatic decisions. because if you think about it, here's the united states. there's one the world's biggest examples of capitalism. but in the mortgage market, it was a very poor example. here you had fannie and freddie. you basically had the federal government behind people making very bad mortgage decisions. in canada, for example, we have a similar housing market, the banks didn't have such a big government backup. they were responsible for the risks they took on mortgages. so they didn't want to take the risks that you took.
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you got to run capitalism with a much more pragmatic form of government. >> let's take a final question. >> good afternoon, everyone. my name is stephen, i'm an international student here at the university of arkansas, i'm studying political science and international relations. firstly, i would like to thank you all for coming. it's been a privilege and honor for me to sit here and listen to you. my questions would be centered around elections and the presidency. more specifically, to dr. moses, dr. sollenberger and hillygus, i have enjoyed their views on the polarization and the increase in executive power, and also touching on the political capital which you mostly spoke about. my question is how do you think these issues will affect the next presidential election in 2012? which will be starting in november?
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i draw the relevance, because i think this is something that's going ton now. i just want to find out from you, how do you think this -- the polarization will influence the next presidential candidate and president obama going into second term? and i would like to see or get your perspective on how do you think if that executive power will increase in the next presidency, and if that will be a negative thing. and finally concerning capital, what remedies do you think can be brought forward? because if that is not something that is is working in the democracy right now, how do you think would be a solution to president's using their political capital to be more effective as a president? thank you. >> so i can pick up on elections first. let me just say, we can spend hours talking about the next election. soon many of us, i'm sure, will. and at the end of the day, the
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big question mark is going to be the state of the economy. and kind of what are the indicators over the course of, you know, the next year? and generally speaking, if we kind of look back in history, this pattern of polarization that occurs within the course of a president's term also tends to accompany an increased incumbency advantage. the incumbents tend tour re-elected. whether you are talking about members or congress or president. when the president does not win reelection, there's a number of advantaging running as a incumbent. in those cases where you don't have an incumbent winning, you know, that's when we look to kind of extraordinary events. like a failed economy, like a failed war effort.
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and so, you know, there are the uncertainties that certainly make it, you know, uncertainty about the outcome, even though i'd probably, you know, on average, put my money on re-election. >> let me say something, obama is an extremely interesting incumbent because of the coalition that he developed. we've been talking about polarization. part of polarization is going to be racial polarization. when we look at 2008, it was one the most diverse, actually the most diverse electorate that voted. he won because he had increased 300% of african-american voters. how do you get those voters to turn out when there's a sense that he has ignored that issue, particularly the fact that americans have had unemployment rate from 16 to 20% since the recession. then you have the backlash that the sense that he may address racial issues. how do you then maintain white
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voters who are fearful of him addressing racial issues, but not just racial issues, issues of poverty. he's going to have to walk in a very fine line again and still try to increase and mobilize that base that is still looking for him to give him something of sustenance. >> i want to pick up on pearl's point. a former student of my is paul, who man the caucuses for obama in 2008. he met with my students in d.c. last year. the first thing he said, that will never happen again. 2008 was never happen again. it was unique in my experience as a consultant. there's no way you will get the sort of enthusiasm in 2008. he based that on the fact that the research firm had been doing a lot of focus groups with young people. what the young peoples were reporting, hey, we voted. deal with it. we're done. all right. we voted. we're moving on to the next new
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thing. we're not committed. we're not going to get mobilized for issues, so forth. i think the obama campaign understanding that. they understand it's not going to be as easy of a race as it was in 2008. the other thing that i want to mention is, remembering back in 1980, i knew democrats who crossed over in the wisconsin primary to vote for ron reagan, because they were sure he would be such a weak candidate, that was who they wanted. :
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>> when presidents can block congressional oversight, when presidents can block information sharing onvn÷ public policy mak, when presidents can make public policy and implement public policy in the white house in the executive office of the president, that really speaks to profound implications of our republic. and, you know, what we were just debating earlier about libya, going to war without authorization or consulting congress, you know, and, obviously, that's withhr>z obam. but with bush, we haven't even talked about the war on terrorism. i mean, rightw5ñdçó
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>> but i'm not running for re-election, i'm a teacher. >> theçó 2012 election -- >> i'm sorry. >> i was just going to say i think the 2012 election is actually going to be a bit of a struggle for obama. the democrats are probably going
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to gain some seats in the house, but probably not take the majority back. i think the republicans have at least a 50/50 shot at taking the senate just simply because of the arithmetic there. there are about twice as many democrats up as republicans, and they're up in more vulnerable seats than the republicans are. the polarization, keep in mind, has a lot more to do with the activists and the people who know more about politics than with mass publics in general. but, but that leads to a different kind of question is, what do people know. and sunshine is absolutely right that, you know, the election's going to hinge probably a lot on the economy, that is what in a very classic b book of about 50 years ago the american voter called the, you know, the character of the times, right?
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that is what are, what's the situation right now. so people are very outcome-oriented. not procedurally-oriented. they don't know very much about what the authority of the president happens to be. or congress. they're not following specific issues very closely unless they happen to be ones that are intense to them like maybe guns or, you know, or whatever. >> [inaudible] >> yeah, okay. [laughter] so what, you know, the question is that we haven't probably in all democracyings but we certainly have in the united states because of the complexity of our system an immense distance between what people understand that people in washington can do and what they can actually do, you know? and what's actually going on. and that's, i think, one of the complications of our political system. it's, it's a very convoluted political system that is very, very hard to understand and to
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make people accountable. >> thank you, bert. you had the first word and the last, both profound. [laughter] you have some sense, and this is the difficulty and the complexity of the issues we've been talking about for three days now. and this discussion will continue and finally result in a book. let me end with a request and an invitation. the invitation goes like this: at some point in the future, come back for act iii. we can't tell you when that will be, but it will be called the fulbright institute blair study of the obama presidency. my question is that you -- my request is that you join me in thanking the panel for what they've done today. [applause]ñrt(
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okay, we're done. [inaudible conversations] >> coming up tonight, booktv in prime time begins with "afterwords." ruben "hurricane" carter talks about his work for the innocent since his 1985 release. he talks with juan williams. at 9 p.m., edward glazer argues the city is the salvation for our future. and then at 9:50 eastern jennet conant. that's tonight on c-span2. >> this weekend on booktv on c-span2 panels on science, american history, climate change and the constitution. and call-ins with larry flynt, sally pipes and walter mosley, just a few of the highlights from our live coverage of the
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los angeles times 'festival of books. get the entire schedule online at and get our schedule sent directly to your inbox. sign up for booktv alert. >> and now former republican white house deputy national security adviser elliot abrams discusses policy towards israel with robert wexler. they also talk about recent events in egypt and syria. this event took place earlier this week here in be washington, it's about an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> ladies and gentlemen, please, welcome to the stage our debaters for thisçó session, elliot abrams and robert wexler. moderating the debate thiser. morning is jason isaacson. [applause]ñi
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>> good morning.. hello from ajc's 2011 global forum. before we begin with this morning's debate, i want to mak0 sure you've picked up a copy ofp today's "wall street journal", and you will see in the center of the paper an advertisement,w the united states and israel, an enduring partnership. enduring partnership. please pick it up. good statement to resolve to continue to strengthen the relationship between the united states and israel. i am jason isaacson your moderator. i would like to welcome the audience washington, d.c. and the global web cast. on the panel, we are joined by elliot abrams, senior fellow at the council of foreign relations and former deputy national security advisor, and robert
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wexler, president of the s. daniel abram ha center for middle east peace and former u.s. congressman from florida. a few notes about the debate, we will begin with opening statements. each debater will have five minutes for the statement and three minutes to respond to his counterpart. we'll then move to the question and answer portion of the debate in which each speaker will again have up to five minutes to respond. and finally, each debater will have the opportunity to offer five minute concluding remarks. these time limits will be strikely enforced. [laughter] >> now, i will turn the floor over to elliot abrams to kick us off. good morning. >> good morning. thank you very much. good morning to bob wexler. i want to congratulation steve and jason for the awards that they received yesterday. as you can tell from the format,
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i'm here this morning to declare my candidacy. this is a copy of my birth certificate. [laughter] [applause] >> next year the meeting will be held at the trump washington center. [laughter] >> and now to the middle east. there's so much to talk about when the changes in the middle east that we could be here for all morning, all day. [cough] >> i think fundamentally the united states has a great interest in supporting democratic allies around the world, and in the middle east. that sounds obvious, but i don't think it's quite so obvious. because i think, frankly, the obama administration has tended to focus more on multilateral
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institutions like the u.n. and less on traditional democratic alliances. nato is in tatters as we see in libya. i never thought i'd live to see the day when the british and the french are complaining about our commitment to nato. and rightly so i'm afraid. focusing on democratic allies, japan, india, germany, france, britain, australia, israel. israel obviously needs to be near the top of that list. here again, i think we have not done a good job in the last couple of years. relations need to be good at all levels. military-military relations are excellent, for example. but relations at the top are clearly not excellent. and we pursued a policy over the last couple of years, until november when it was abandoned, built around a construction freeze. and in the words of senator john
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kerry, we wasted a year and a half. since november, there really hasn't been much of a policy. we are all waiting to see what happens now? the prime minister's speech in about a month was the building block. but now an event has happened yesterday that changes the context. the hamas-fattah agreement. we don't know a lot about that agreement. but i find it troubling. i don't think it'll last. let me say now. you remember the mecca agreement of 2007 led if not directly, fairly quickly just a few months to the hamas crew in gaza. announcing an agreement is one thing. keeping it going from month to month is another. my observation it appears to be an agreement without conditions. the quartet reaction, including the united states, but eu, un, russia to the mecca agreement
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was, and to the hamas victory in the 2006 elections, was anybody who participates in the palestinian government needs to be commitmented to peace, nonviolence, recognizing israel's right to exist, and all previous agreements. hamas obviously does not meet that standard. it doesn't -- it didn't meet it then, and it doesn't meet it now. apparently there's some kind of security agreement. again, we'll find out what the details are, but it's very troubling. there's no agreement on releasing, for example. there's no agreement on -- well, here's an example of the trouble that i mean. apparently they are going to say under some kind of security committee, hamas keeps gaza, fattah keeps the west bank. over the last couple of years,
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israel and the p.a. has worked very closely in the west bank against hamas. against terrorism. you talk to idf officers, they will tell you it's pretty good cooperation. does that cooperation continue? if that cooperation does not continue, does u.s. security assistance to the p.a. continue? while they are in a partnership with hamas? you've already seen reactions on capitol hill. i think this is extremely troubling. i'm running out of time here. i guess bob and i have to disappoint you, you know, we are friends. we agree on an awful lot of things. those who are looking for a kind of tough debate here maybe slightly disappointed. but, you know, we'll try. we'll give it our best. >> i think we will. i think we will. robert, please. thank you, elliot. >> thank you very much. i want to especially thank the american jewish committee for
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allowing myself and elliot to participate this morning. ajc, which needs no introduction to any of you, is certainly in my humble estimation the prominent american communal organization. the impact that it has throughout the town, on capitol hill, and the administration, in the media, and in all of the thought-provoking community in washington is quite significant and the fact that the new chief of staff for the president is addressing your organization which i believe will be his first address as chief of staff to an american organization and an american jewish organization is primary testimony to the prominence of ajc. i thank all of you for participating. elliot is correct in terms of if you think there's going to be blood letting, you will be sadly disappointed. just the opposite for my
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personal perspective. elliot is a extraordinarily patriotic and able american public servant who for decades has devouted himself personally and professionally to american foreign policy, a significant part of which, of course, was america's policy in the middle east, and my hat is off to him for a very long, distinguished career of service. let me start with this. my family and i, we arrived back from israel last night having the privilege of spending two weeks in israel for passover. i'm sure many of you have had that privilege. if i could take 15 seconds and just be a part of the israeli tourism council, spending passover in israel, i don't think there's any greater thrill
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than anybody could ever experience. on top of the extraordinary wealth that israel provides to any visitor whether it's their first or 30th time, but to be able to go to italian restaurants in the middle of passover in jerusalem, that's worth whatever extra charges there maybe at the hotel. and one stay in only seven days, that to me is also worth whatever extra charges there maybe. [laughter] >> but as to the issue, if we had met three months ago, all of us probably would have been centered on egypt. talking about egypt, and this extraordinary change that was about to occur. had we met six or seven weeks ago, we would have talked about libya, and this extraordinary challenge that was presented and
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the thought that america with our nato allies would engage in a military operation. that would have been the center of our focus. had we met 24 hours ago, i suppose the center of our focus would have been will bashar assad and syria last through the weekend? now since we are meeting today as elliot referenced, we will be in part focused on what is the meaning of fattah and hamas appearing to be posed to enter into a unity agreement. i'm careful in saying appearing to be posed because they have not entered into it yet. the point of what i mention is simply that the degree of change that is sweeping the region is so fundamental and farfetched
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that to talk about constant or fundamental at this point, i think, actually is outdated. and i know i share elliot's enthusiasm for the premise that america should fundamentally be on the side of democracy. and here again, elliot has rolled during the bush administration. i would applaud actually for being ahead of the curve in terms of aligning america with democracy. elliot is not naive. nor am i. we all understand the risk that empowering people involves, but i also think we need to understand the risks of not empowering people. and the risks of anchoring peace agreements with leaders as opposed to societies. let me close with this
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fundamental question that i would ask to our friends in israel, and this, i think, is maybe where maybe elliot and i may differ a bit. if our friends in israel calculate that the degree of leverage that they today hold leverage with america, leverage with the international community, whether it be the european union, the united nations, the quartet, whatever it maybe, the arab neighbors, the new governments in egypt, and tunisia and the like and the leverage they have had the pall stillian authority, the pall pa- palestinian authority, and the advantage and economic interest. if our friends in israel
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calculate that the leverage that they have today is greater than the leverage they will have in five years or ten years, i will respectfully offer it's prudent to make difficult decisions when your leverage is greatest. if they calculate that their leverage in five years or ten years from now is likely to be less, then i would respectfully conclude and i fall in this category that it's wiser it make decisions when your leverage is greatest. and it is borderline irrational to wait until your choices, in fact, are less. or your ability to affect a positive choice is less. and in that record, possibly i'm opening up the debate. i suggest that now is the time to make difficult choices.
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although it maybe somewhat counterintuitive to the traditional thinking. >> thank you for opening up the debate. so, robert? elliot please respond. >> i've never heard such -- >> there you go. >> how's that for an opening act? [laughter] >> you know, there is a good deal of agreement here in this sense. [laughter] >> israel has a consensus now, i don't know 90%, maybe 95% to separate from the palestinians. if used to be there was a large community that believed in greater israel. i think that community is very small now. i think people left, right, and center since sharon recognize that all the may will be but don't want a one-state solution, you do want a two-state
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solution, you need to separate. this is logic, and that logic fundamentally remains correct today. jewish state, arab state. the question that i ask, and it's very close to what bob is saying. if that was israel's interest, it's not a gift to the pall -- palestinians. it's israel's interest to separate. the question i ask is why don't you separate? neither of us is knee -- is naive. easy to say, hard to do. but i wonder, for example, if it was clear to everybody that sooner or later what is beyond the fence is going to be not israel, let's say. why continue to make investments beyond the fence? why not begin the process of allowing people beyond the fence to move back? by saying allowing, they can do it tomorrow morning, expect try
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seller your house. if you have put money into a residence beyond the fence. in the case of gaza, there was compensation for people who moved back. sooner or later, that will have to happen for the areas beyond the fence as well. it would be meaningful for israel's international physician, i think, to begin to talk about that, to begin to act in the asset to take steps that reflect israel's logic that separation is the right thing to do. now this has become a lot more difficult. i think because of the hamas-fattah agreement, which if it falls apart. because it well may. because it reflects the view point of the palestinian leadership. i think it's going to lead to the departure of salem fiad.
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if there's one thing they hate, it's fiad. he's been resists the departure. his departure is going to trouble people on the hill and a lot of other donors, and people in the europe and arab that want to know where the money is going. with him there, they know where the fun is going. with him not that, there's not so clear. i think the logic for israel is clear to begin to move in the direction that their national interests call for. but the palestinians have once again made it a good deal harder. on the one hand, they won't come to the table. on the other hand, they are playing games with hamas. if you haven't read the hamas charter recently, pull it out over the weekend. it's a violently anti-semitic document. not one word has been changed. they don't ask. >> thank you, elliot.
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before i ask robert to speak, if you have questions, fill out the cards. staff will be picking them up very shortly. robert? >> elliot introduces an interesting concept that i would agree with in part. separation. elliot rightfully referenced prime minister sharon. prime minister sharon, of course, implemented the separation theory in the context of disengagement from gaza. i don't want to be disengenerous, i supposed prime minister sharon, with respect to gaza. we've learned some things from the disengagement plan. unirally december december -- ul disengagement will not help. if anything, what israel do is give up the bargaining chip that is it contains and possesses without getting something
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significant in return. and the significant in return, of course, first and foremost are security agreements from the palestinians, from the arab neighbors, from the united states, from the natos, and internationally recognized commitment that israel be the homeland of the jewish people, underline jewish people. but in order to do that, and again, i don't think anyone on this is naive. the israelis, the likelihood of the israelis and palestinians negotiating, a comprehensive agreement is between zero and one percent. closer to zero. the question is what can prime minister netanyahu and the israel he government do to better posture itself so has to protect it's significant interests going forth in the future. i would argue that this is where prime minister netanyahu and the israeli government should be more forthcoming. they should say what is in their interest. like elliot said, not because
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it's good for the palestinians. i would argue it's good for israel. for the israelly prime minister to say my borders, my borders. the borders that are best for me and my people are the 1967 borders with significant allowments to make certain that 80% of the jewish-israelis that today live outside of the 67 lines will be within the internationally recognized borders of israeli if he were to simply say that, i know it would be a big gulp, if the israeli prime minister were to do that, he'd not be giving away anything. i would argue, and he would be gaining enormously. he'd gain enormously here in america, he'd gain enormously internationally, and he would undercut entirely the efforts that will occur in september with respect to a unilateral
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palestinian declaration by the u.n. and so forth. you know who will tremble if prime minister netanyahu were to make such a mistake -- excuse me. such a statement. [laughter] >> they would tremble in hamas, they would tremble in tehran, and all of the naysayers, all of those that oppose israel's right to exist, and oppose israel as a jewish state, they would tremble. because the calling card that they have too often is the perceived correct or not, the perceived intransient. this is not going to be a israeli jewish state from the mediterranean to the jordan. the numbers are not there. we can argue we took extraordinary tours pointing out the jewish presence and the jewish history in places far
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outside of the 67 lines. i would respectfully suggest that we should all agree there was a jewish presence 3,000 years ago in 3300 years ago in the many of the places if the goal is to keep them as a part of the internationally recognized state of israel, that's impossible. >> robert, thank you. before we turn to questions from the web cast audience and you in the room today, i'd like to pose a question. really recenterring on a topic that we wanted to focus on, u.s. policy in the middle east. where should the united states go now on two fronts? one, promoting democratic change, and secondly on advancing toward israeli peace. do we restart talks. put down a plan. let me start with you elliot.
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>> first, we need to lead. some of you have led the article in the new yorker where the senior administration official says we are leading from behind. sorry. that's not now the united states can lead the free world and lead the alliance of nation. we lead from up front. we are as madeleine albright once again, indispensable. we need to show leadership. in india, where we need more military pressure. we need to show leadership on syria. syria is an enemy of the united states, a murder and torturer is the president of syria. why do we call for the departure of mubarak, and not the departure of mossad. it's disgusting. [applause] [applause] >> so leadership, even in the case of syria, nobody is sending troops.
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it's moral and political leadership. now i think we need to have a reconciliation with israel. let's face it, we've had two rough years. there's no sense of confidence. this is true in the arab world too. when i go to israel, frankly when i go to west bank as well, i hear a sense of a lack of confidence in the united states and where we are. i would not assert ourselves through an american plan. because i think i know what's going to happen when we put forward an american plan. israelis and palestinians are both going to say this is great. thank you very much. but just have a few comments. this is what the israelis did with the road map, 13 comments. where you will be left a week later, both sides will have said no, and that will make the president look weaker, and none of us benefit when the president of the united states looks weaker. i don't see how that leads to a
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peace agreement. it seems to me that we should be doing is saying to the pall pal- palestinians, if you want the state, build the state, build from the bottom up, build institutions, a lot of progress has been made. you need to continue that. israel has helped a lot. it needs to help more. the arab states need to help more. there's been a lot of progress who have losened things up in the west bank. we need to be very candid in saying to the palestinians, the way through the state is not through a partnership with terrorists groups. >> thank you, elliot. robert? >> many my last year of congress when arab diplomats would come to my office, they would more often than not start with how's the health care debate going? i thought maybe that was their polite way of talking to me about something they thought i
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cared deeply about. i realed after the third or fourth or fifth time, whether it was egypt, bahrain, the health care debate, the health care debate. obviously, they didn't have a stake in words seniors in my hometown for going to pay x in the donut hole for medicare or not. but they have as elliot referenced a great stake in this strength of the american president. and they were calculating this is president going to have a significant domestic, political victory which will then translate possibly into stronger american foreign policy? the reason that i reference it, and i suspect you will hear it from the chief of staff, for a moment, imagine you are barack obama. and this is your day. i presume, or something like it. the chief of staff and the security people and the intelligence people walk into your office in the morning. i hope the chief of stay is
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saying, mr. president, the job reports in ohio is x. the auto city is boom. this industry is there. interest rates are that. the chairman said this. the economy, economy, economy, jobs, jobs, jobs. guess what, gasoline prices have topped $4 a gallon. they may hit five. if they do, we have a huge problem. both in terms of economics and politics. then the guy comes in or lady and says, yes, mr. president, we need to do something significant. and the president looks at that brave young man or young women or elderly man or women and says, okay, if i do all of the extraordinary steps, tell me what's likely to happen. elliot is not wrong. the israeli government is likely to say, no, i think they would take a page out of the of the play book and say, yes, here are
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the 28 exceptions, drafted by the most extraordinarily schooled lawyers. and the palestinians will do something the same. so what i think the american president needs to do, and i would agree with elliot, what's happening in syria today is -- i would argue, the most significant of the factor that is have occurred so far. why? because if events go in syria in a way that is not beneficial to bashar assad, i'll make one predictions. iran will be next. not necessarily two or four weeks from now. but iran will not escape the chains brewing in the middle east if events in syria unfold in a way that is unhelpful. people -- the initial reaction with respect to the palestinian or the p.a. and hamas agreement was some in israel said this.
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this shows how weak abbas is. excuse me. yes. abbas is weak. we all know that. but a few weeks ago, the same people were arguing, oh the events in egypt are going to empower hamas. they will be uncontrollable in terms of their ego. wait a minute. hamas just entered into the agreement. if they thought that their stake was so high, why enter into an agreement in guess what, the hamas guys are looking at syria and they are saying oh no. what's happening to bashar assad. oh no, if he's gone on sunday, or next sunday, or three sundays from now, what's going to happen in tehran. so they are shaking like a leaf. so the president should enunciate principals. not than american plan. but the president should once and for all, enunciate a set of
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principals that america can hold it's head high, and then in september when we go to the u.n. and we say to all of the european friends and those all around the world, no, american will not support a unilateral statement, why? because we've enunciated the principals upon which the israelis and palestinians should and must begin the negotiations. not impose anything, but a set of principals upon which to negotiate. >> thank you, robert. [applause] [applause] >> we have a -- we have a fewer named abdallah from the middle east. i'm not sure which country. we've been talking about this, all due respect, can you please stir back the discussion to the u.s. foreign policy in the middle east and not discuss the best strategy for israel to trick it's opponents. thank you. let me amend that question a little bit. because we've been talking about
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u.s. policy in the middle east. let's talk about arab attitudes towards israel and ways that u.s. policy can affect the climate for israeli palestinian, more broadly. can we be doing more to encourage a better climate between peace and all of its nay neighbors throughout the region. there are positive examples. but in the past and not too many. please, elliot -- robert. >> the -- bob said the, you know, we need to make peace with people. i was surprised by the degree to which the israelis mourned the passing of power as he's been a great friend of israeli. the problem is the arab states have used israel. it's bread and circuses.
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because they delivered nothing but oppression to their own people, they appointed israel. the hope would be democratic governments were legitimate. nobody elected any of those guys. they were just stealing elections. the hope would be with a legitimate government they wouldn't need to do this. they could focus on the development of their own country. and they would stop the spewing out of anti-semitism on state run tv and in textbooks. what we can do, i think, is say to them, say to the new government of tunisia, the new government of egypt when we get to it and i completely agree with bob, the key turning point here is syria. when we get to the next government of syria, the relations with the united states depend on a few critical thing. this is one of them. we have let the palestinians, egyptians, and others, get away i won't say with murder, but
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vicious hatred in official documents and books and on government-run tv. now is the time at this moment of change in the middle east for us to say that's over. that has got to come to an end. >> robert? >> thank you, elliot. >> with respect to america's policy in the region, a number of people have talked about a modern-day marshal plan for the middle east. in terms of economic incentives that america might offer our arab friends. times are difficult in america. times are difficult after world war ii, of course, too. i think that while it may not be the degree to which the marshal plan actually affected change in europe, that we ought to look and work in that direction. but some people may not be aware. we already have some of those tools. probably the most leverage that we had with respect to egypt is not the $2.2 billion that we
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provide every year, at least have so in the past. it's a concept called the qualified industrial zones which elliot is familiar with. tens of thousands of jobs in egypt are dependent upon their cooperation with israel in terms of their economic interest with america. now the next government in egypt, whether it is one we like, or one that we can stomach, or one we can actually possibly applaud are going to have economic problems that are extraordinary in their scope. and we ought to provide both the admonition if they do not honor their peace treaty with israel, we are not a part of their process. if they do, our qualified industrial zones are but an example of the good things we can do together to help you grow the economy and answer a chance in the people in the street that put you in power and e -- elected you in the first place.
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where i disagree a bit with elliot is the administration and american foreign policy with respect to israel and in terms of the bilateral relationship. the security to security relationship between american and israel has never been strong person that's not an easy thing to say. because it has been strong in the past. and in terms of public pronouncements of support in times of need, this administration has been on record time in and time again on the right side of the equation. a few examples if i may. when turkey, a year and a few months invited, they miscalculated. that was four-part exercise. i believe they thought we'd stay out of one. stay out of two. we are not participating. our european allies, us, leading the way, not from behind but in front then followed our lead. what did we follow with? just a muted statement?
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no, followed with the largest arrival of american military personnel in the history of state of israel. over 1,000 american soldiers in uniform in the state of israel for three or four weeks, working on anti-missile ballistic exercises. and the security to security arrangement whether you are talking to an israeli official or an american official has been seamless. now again, i'm not an administration official, had there been mistakes? sure. do i think making the issue of settlements and settlement freezes out of the box the way in which the administration did, was that a success? no. asking an israeli prime minister whether it's a prime minister, or a kadima prime minister to make a recession on jerusalem as part of the opening act?
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not a good strategy. with respect to security and vetoing the resolution recently at the united nations, with respect to whether we are talking about weapons, or the administration had supported from the congress. whether we are talking about providing the israeli government with the kind of international protection that it justty deserves, the administration has been as good if not better than any. the notion that we continue to debate probably for some political purposes as much respectfully as substantive. whether or not this administration is proisrael. your ad to a certain degree answers it. this country, thank goodness, has had a history with the unbreakable bond with the state of israel. it's as unbreakable as it is today as when elliot was partly in charge, or anyone else before
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that. >> thank you, robert. [applause] >> we have a question from the audience which i'd like to read to you as well. how can we promote democracy across the arab world and at the same time, assure israel's security? >> i don't think the two are incompatible at all. first because a lot of the dictatorships which were all illegitimate were using israel as a way of sort of throwing red meat at people in their societies. i think we need to make a real effort on the economy. here i agree with bob. look at egypt. 80 million people. libya is small country. huge oil well. tunisia, small country. the most important one is egypt. 80 million people and not much in the way of oil and gas. we know from the experience of
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latin america what happens when you go to democracy? you have elections and then you are disappointed and frustrated. you end up in the populism that we see in venezuela, libya, to a certain extent argentina. it's bad politics and economics. we need to do all that we can to help them economically as well as politically. i'm not in favor of the marshal plan only because -- two reasons. first the marshal plan was a reconstruction of industrialized countries. this would be a very different situation. we're not talking about the czech republic here or france or germany. secondly, we don't have the money. had but i know who does. because i just paid $4.01 a barrel of oil. it's $115 a barrel, and $4.00 a gallon. they announced $100 billion to buy off their own population in an effort to avoid reform.
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they have announced it as part of the bahrain and $1 billion for ohman. we need to talk about their responsibilities. obviously, they are not in favor of democracy. not at home and abroad. but they are in favor of a more stable future for the arab world. they are supposedly in favor of the palestinian state. they certainly have the money. through the world bank, imf, we need to talk to them about the responsibilities. i don't think the american taxpayer is going to say it's our job to come up with billions of dollars for egypt, syria, tunisia. they mentioned the qiz. there's a place that we can make a difference. in trade rather than aid. foreign aid isn't the answer anyway. i want reject the notion that israel is a less safe country if
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it is surrounded by arab democracies. and the poll data that comes from egypt suggest that people don't want a war with israel. they don't like israel. they don't like jews. they don't want a war. the egyptian army doesn't want the war. they understand if they get into any kind of conflict, investment, tourism disappears, they will go spiraling down into greater poverty. i think there's reason to be optimistic about the changes, particularly, bob and i here are in complete agreement. if assad goes, it is the beginning of a gigantic change. it does lead to tehran. >> thank you. elliot? >> i agree. i would go actually in some directions where we haven't talked even further. the notion that israeli security has somehow muturely exclusive from the growth of democracy in
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the arab world needs to be rejected entirely. in fact, i would argue that converse. if you are of the belief that israeli society and israeli security is better off being surrounded by the whims of nations determined by one man, then we'll never have one woman there, but one man, i would respectfully suggest that your ideology is more danger with respect to the security of the state of israel than anything any government official could ever identify and implement. because long term it will fail. and it will fail miserably. does having confidence in democracy mean it's going to be smooth sailing. buzz it mean we're going to applause those that win elections? i'll bet more often than not we are deeply concerned with the election results. they said they hope the people
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they support needs the first election. if democracy works the way it's supposed to, the people that win the first flexion egypt -- first election in egypt are going to rebel in the ballot box in a significant way. hope for the second election for the good guys and women to come aboard. but the one thing we haven't talked about which i think is essential is america's relationship with turkey, and israeli relationship with turkey. there is, in fact, another democracy in the middle east. and it is a moderate democracy with an overwhelmingly majority muslim population. and while america's relationship with israel -- with respect to turkey is very strong in certain respects, in terms of cooperation in iraq, in afghanistan, and in other key parts of the region, it has been strained in orrs. and certainly israel's relationship with turkey has
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been strained to an extraordinary degree. turkish elections. yes, elections occur in june. subsequent to those elections, i would suggest our foreign policy in america. one the top priorities so ensure stability, to ensure security in in region, both for america's benefit, israel's benefit, and turkey's benefit is to make priority number one repairing the relationship between turkey and israel. because that actually can be an extraordinarily important anchor for all of the commotion and change that is about to come after. >> thank you, robert. obviously one the questions on restoring that relationship normalizing that relationship will have to do with the subject of iran. but that is not the subject of this debate right now. we only have a few minutes left. so in i think the last question i have your someone in jere jer-
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jerusalem, if hamas and fattah come to an agreement, will that help or hinder the campaign that they are pursuing to seeking unilateral recognition of statehood and independence? >> it cuts boths way. it can be argued what do you mean they are going to have a state. how can they have a state and declare a state when it's two states. it's completely divided. so this is a partial answer the palestinians can give. no, we are on the way to unity now. we have come together. they may try to keep the agreement until september in an effort to have the answer to the question. on the other hand, it's unity fattah or the ph in a terrorists group. and the reaction is israel is clear. the reaction in congress is reasonably clear. if hamas or changing and meeting
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the conditions, that's one thing. but how do you support a state with the participation of a -- excuse me, terrorists group in the government. so i think it cuts both ways. i think it makes it a lot harder for prime minister netanyahu. for example, and i'll just end with this, the -- i wrote an article a couple of weeks ago after returns from jerusalem, suggesting that israel should get ahead of the curve. he mentioned the 67 borders with agreed swap. if the president says the basis is going to be 67 borders with agreed swap, i don't understand why it's important for israel to say this is catastrophe. rather than saying great, we all agree. there will be no return to the 67 borders. it's so great that we agree on that. take advantage of it. i said the same thing about the u.n.. if the u.n. is clearly going to go for palestinian state, why do you want to go around saying this is the greatest
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catastrophe. this is the worst defeat that israel is going to suffer. you were going to turn it into a meaningful defeat that will help the radical forces. why doesn't israel say you know what, last week chile recognized, i recognize. israel recognized. people will say what does it mean? i don't know. what does it mean when chile did it? you defang is. you leech some of the poison out of it. [laughter] [applause] >> but i have to say -- it's harder this week and it's harden. how do you do this as an reaction to the an agreement between fattah and pa, and unreconstructed violent terrorists group. if you say that's important, let's forget about that. i think it does cut both ways. it's a huge complication for israel and for the united states. bob and i were talking before i came out here. i said to them, i don't know how
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bb writes a speech now, expect having little modules. >> thank you, elliot. robert please. >> i hate to disappoint you, but, i agree. of course, i'll go further. [laughter] >> to answer the question specifically, it depends. it depends, i think, in great part whether or not fattah and hamas really do create unity and what that unity actually means when it's implemented, but also it's highly depended on what we in the united states do between now and september, and even more important what israel does between now and september. with respect to the israeli reaction, i understand it, i agree with it, but the quick israeli quote was fattah, the palestinian authority will have to make a choice. a choice between hamas or peace
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with us. agreed. yes. a palestinian entity that does not reject violence, and does not recognize the state of israel, that does not agree to the past agreements will not make peace with israel. america will not recognize it. agreed. but that's not a policy. that's not smart thinking. smart thinking is, okay, let's think, these two warring factions, fattah and hamas, have just potentially entered into an agreement. there maybe meaningful palestinian elections in roughly a year. what can the friends in israel do in the upcoming 12 months and what can we do in america in the upcomes 12 months to help those that participate in the election that will promote policies that will be beneficial to israel and to america? to peace in the region, and to
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the rightful -- the rightful demands to the palestinian people for dignity and respect. : >> i was talking to someone who believes that jerusalem will need to be a shared capital and that the palestinians in a two-state solution will need to place their capital in what is today east jerusalem, and we were walking around the mount of olives sprks i said to this person, okay, where is this? where is the mount of olives in this, this great idea? and the person gave me an answer that i didn't which was, well, the mount of olives, of course, has
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extraordinary jewish tradition, history and meaning, and it can't ever be separated from th jewish people and the jewishd th state. on the other hand, it's very difficult to imagine that if you were to, in fact, draw a border how you would get all the way over here to include it in west jerusalem or the israeli/jewish capital. capital. i said well, how do you bridge that? he said look at this convention center on top of the hill. there is a little hotel there that is right above the mt. of olives. and he said that looks like a perfect place for the israeli embassy to the mill -- new palestinian state and guess what the mt. of olives should be the garden of the israeli embassy. [laughter] now that is the kind of creativity and that is the kind of reaction that we in america
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and our friends in israel ought to be providing as this extraordinary exchanges whipping through the nation. >> robber, thank you. [applause] we have time now -- thank you. we have time to sum up and we are going to begin with you elliott for a couple of minutes and then you robert for a couple minutes. >> first thank you for having me. desires a great pleasure to meet with members and officials in the agency which is the great american jewish organization and everyone in the u.s. government has always known and continues to understand it. this is a moment of unbelievable turbulence in the middle east. it has gone further than anyone had predicted that it is a moment of tremendous opportunity and i want to close on a hopeful note. israel's great enemy in the region is iran.
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the only state that says we want to eliminate the state of israel and there is in accidents between iran, syria, hezbollah and hamas. hamas headquarters is still in damascus. syria, iran's only arab ally, the way in which iran ships arms to hezbollah. the middle east really changes a lot if that regime falls. you are not going to get a worse regime. certainly are not going to get a more brutal vicious and despicable regime in human rights terms. this is a 74% sunni country. with hezbollah and with iran. these are huge developments for the security of the united states and of israel. this is the first major defeat for iran. this is the beginning i think and i agree with bob, this is the beginning of the end of the end may take years but it is the beginning of the end for the
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ayatollah because they know their own population despises that regime. in this turmoil and turbulence which makes the israelis very nervous. when i was over there i suggested there is some of this reason to be hopeful and the israelis responded hare you live 5000 miles away. we live here. is very nerve-racking. it is nerve-racking. and we may see lots of setbacks. not every air countries going to move in a revolution to democracy but there are tremendous opportunities here to improve, i wouldn't even say in the long run, in the medium run. israel situation in the region, run situation in the region to bring about the fall of the horrible regime in tehran and replace it with a democracy. the building block for all of this has got to be american is racing -- american israeli relations. here bob and i have a disagreement because
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military-to-military are terrific. i really agree with bob have never been better. political relations are not so good. relations between the president and prime minister have been a lot better and a lot of administrations. we need to do better in the coming two years. we need to improve those relations. we need to solidify them. we need to make it clear to the arabs and the europeans that the alliance between the united states and israel is completely unshakable and will remain the key building block for israeli security and security and democracy in the middle east. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, elliott. robert. >> i am hopeful. i am hopeful because as americans and for our friends in israel, the strength of democracy is so layered and so pervasive throughout a society
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that we can weather storms. as many times as i have been her out yad vashem i wish i could have been a fly on the wall in which i imagined there was the debate on how to end this exhibit in yad vashem. when you go through the halls of horror and the history and the end of course is the open view. i was just there last week, springtime, extraordinary greenery of hope and promise and what a people with determination and ambition can do. that determination and ambition is not unique to americans. it is not unique to israelis. and i think war than anything our policy and our consciousness
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should respect the dignity of those people in the world and in this case in the middle east who today do not enjoy dignity. and it should be our efforts in america and israeli priority as well to give and help those people achieve dignity. and a dignified man, a dignified woman is far less likely to create a violent or a problematic situation for you, for me and or our friends in israel and this will not be without ups and downs and it will not be without risk. but i happen to think that we are living in what may be the most hopeful time that the middle east has seen arguably in the history in the context of modern history. and before you react sometimes
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two events and say oh i am afraid of the change, which is perfectly reasonable and prudent to do, i think you should remind yourself that the ultimate goal is to create a scenario where there are more winners and less losers and with respect to the israeli-palestinian conflict, that is why i so fundamentally believe that forthrightness and a bit of courage on behalf of the american president and the israeli prime minister will actually be rewarded in a far greater fashion than any of us will rationally believed. elliott points out history, which showed differently and that is correct. but i would argue that we are in
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a historical moment where great leadership whether it be in washington or jerusalem or other areas is required, and that great leadership will at times require defying conventional wisdom. thank you for having me. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you robert. thank you elliott. please stay their places for@ another second. please remain seated. i would like to tank or c-span audience and their webcast audience drawn from across the globe and for taking part in this informative debate. please do join us again for additional webcast session. please pick up a copy of today's "wall street journal" and read our ads. for more information visit thank you all. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen please remain in your seat. our next session will be starting momentarily.
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>> the space shuttle endeavor is just a few hours from liftoff, going on its last ride into orbit. earlier this morning the nasa launch team loaded more than a half million gallons of fuel for the trip. you can see live coverage starting at 11:15 eastern on c-span, liftoff is set for 3:47 eastern this afternoon. former british foreign secretary david miliband is in the u.s. today, and he'll be talking about british views of the war in this afghanistan. he's at the council of foreign relations, and you can see live coverage of that starting at 12:30 eastern on c-span3. and right here on c-span2 we'll be live at 2 eastern with a state department town hall meeting on discrimination and hate, specializing in jewish and
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muslim communities will discuss efforts to combat hate and answer questions. this weekend on booktv on c-span c-span2, panels on science, american history, climate change and the constitution and call-ins with larry flint, sally pipes and walter mosley. just a few of the highlights from our live coverage of the los angeles festival of books. get the entire schedule online at and get our schedule sent directly to your inbox. sign up for booktv alert. congratulations again to all the winners of this year's student cam video documentary competition. you can view all the winning videos anytime at our web site,, and continue the conversation at our facebook and twitter pages. and if you'd like an early start on next year's competition, the theme is the u.s. constitution. select any portion and create a video about why it's important to you. look for details at our new student cam 201 web site -- 2012
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web site starting august 1st. discussion, now, on domestic terrorism threats. the massachusetts governor's former homeland security adviser says americans need to be more resilient in facing terrorist threats. this discussion was part of an all-day conference looking at the al-qaeda threat ten years after 9/11. it's about an hour, 20 minutes. >> hello, everyone, we're going to continue. there's karen, great. wonderful. thank you all again. my name's patrick dougherty, i'm the director of the smart strategy initiative here at the new america foundation, and i work as a senior adviser to the national security studies program. we decided to do when we were designing this conference was to get the broad overview and then drill down into various theaters, and we're going to start with the domestic theater and really take a look at the changing nature of the domestic threat and our domestic responses to it and also look at
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our vulnerabilities. about a year ago, dennis mcdonough was speaking to another new america audience at the release of the strategy of the united states, president obama's first. and he commented on and ghei his perspective -- gave his perspective on the domestic threat. he said, you know, the threat is from onesies and twosies he called it. they get past our defenses and strike our vulnerabilities. and so, really, that's what we're going to look at. we're going to look at what are the onesies and twosies. i think they're very realistic based on our last conversation, that it's not about big either 9/11-style or, worse, mushroom cloud. and they're looking very realistically about what the likely threat is. but, and so what we're going to do is start off with karen greenberg, a longtime friend of
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new america, peter bergen and myself here, and a longtime collaborator in these conferences. and karen's going to give us the broad overview of the domestic threat. and then we've asked peter newman to look at this dynamic that we started talking about in the last panel, internet radicalization, and the countermeasures, counterradicalization both for the internet side and more generally. and then pleased to have juliet cayenne speak today. she's just finished five years of continuous service, first for deval patrick in massachusetts and then just recently as assistantñr secretary of homelad security for intergovernmental affairs. and she's going to take a look at homeland security in the context of a changing threat and changing budgets. how do we, where do we stand in
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terms of the homeland security enterprise? and then, finally, we're going to close with our own barry lynn who directs the -- and i always forget the name of the program -- it's the markets, enterprise and resiliency initiative. and barry brings an incredible understand understanding of private sector supply chainsçó and economic networks. and many of you are going to recognize how important and relevant this is given al-qaeda in the arabian bemince rah's attempt -- peninsula's attempted attack last year on global shipping, on fedex and ups. what could that have done if the attacks were successful, and looking at some of the vulnerabilities that are still out there. we don't talk about it much in recent years, but there's still considerable, we've got a lot of concentration of and single chains out there, and we're going to take a look at that.
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that's the overview. i'm going to ask all the speakers to come up to the panel, and one more -- if you turned on your phone, if you could turn it back off, that'd be great, so it doesn't interfere with the microphones, and we're going to start with karen. >> thanks, patrick. thanks, peter. for having me and for doing this. so i'm just going to correct a little bit about what i'm going to talk about. [laughter] because i -- so the reason i was asked to speak other than liking the new america foundation more than anyone else in the new york perhaps is that i run my center, the center on law and security has a database that we've been filling for eight years pretty much 24/7 which looks into all of the terrorism trials from charge to result since 9/11.
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and what we thought initially about this terrorism trial database which is what it is was that we would look at the track record in the department of justice. it sort of started in a kind of contrarian way. you know, like you're arresting all these guys, how many of them are really license fraud, you know, it had that tone to it in 2003, 2004, 2005. ..
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>> these are the people that the government arrests, we indict, and bring to justice one way or the other. sometimes in the future, when we are the luxury of being the historians, we can say this is what we thought about the threat. but it doesn't mean what's coming up is the exact threat. one the things i was struck by in the first panel was there are some disconnects between how al qaeda, et cetera,l.e.t. is viewed globally as a threat and emerge in the database. i'm going to talk very briefly actually about some of the statistics and what i think is going on. i think you probably know this. i'll go through it for you
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anyway. there has been 308 cases of jihadi terrorism, those are individual, 308. of those 308, 1/3 that we know of are al qaeda. it can emerge later. 1/10 of them are al shabaab, and not even 1/10 are l.e.t., doubled in size from the indictments yesterday. however, there are some -- the way to look at these statistics is to understand and i don't know if anybody mentioned this earlier. since 2005, the rate, the seriousness, and the degree of danger involved in terrorism arrests and the number of indictments has escalated dramatically. there have been -- and you can compare the numbers i just gave.
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55 indictments in -- keep in mind the original caveat about how it is the perceived threat. i try to explain that numbers to you and see how it plays out. the first thing i want to mention is the fbi stings. even though they may be the least important in terms of assessing the threat, they contribute significantly to the numbers. so i would -- there are 20% of these cases. and the way an fbi sting works as you may or might not know is, depends on who you are talking to, the way an fbi sting works is that the fbi is charged to determine who might want to commit a crime. as opposed -- as opposed to who's already involved in a crime. the informant cases, the fbi has been involved with them since the beginning. i'm going to come back to these.
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that's one the reasons the rates have gone up. if you take that out, you still have 45 individuals. and it's still a high number. the most serious attempts as i said, since 2009 -- since 2001 has been since 2009. you know them all, hassan, abdallah, and david headley, whom i'm assuming someone will talk about after me. if not, ask questions about it. these are al qaeda and pakistani-based terrorists groups bases. they are not al shabaab cases. they involve individuals who have had significantly for the most part involvement with other countries, either by growing up there or having family there. leave abdallah hew tab will be out of it. but he is start of the escalation.
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even though the number 55 is rather large it's much more important. which is a reason not to look just at numbers. we can talk later about what's significant about the cases. somebody mentioned wmds, more and more of the domestic prosecutions include wmd charges. this was not true for the first six of prosecution in the united states. i don't remember the year, but somebody after the first four years, there was one wmd charge that stood up. now there are a lot. you have to careful, because fbi cases involve wmd charges. they involve themselves in plot which includes wmd, because that's the charge they want. having said that, the other cases that i mentioned with the exception of hassan involve wmds. they are on the rise. and it's one the reasons that
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the bureau wants to participate in plots that look like this. the final reason, statistically, in terms of understanding what these cases -- the rising cases are, what i'm sure you know and i'm sure somebody is going to talk about from the list of participating that i saw, which are the somalians. the number of somalians have has been arrested last year alone, i believe, was -- people involved in somali terrorism were 25. half of them were somali, i believe, and half were american. and i think the case that everybody is focused on is chesser. zachary chesser. with the case of an american who is not an somali, caught up in the rhetoric of what was happening in somali. he was arrested before he went abroad, i think the day before,
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the attack, the terrorist attack in uganda, and he is providing a lot of information in the hopes of reduction of his sentence. but, you know, these are the three big thing that is are happening. i think in terms of understanding the threat, there's really two things to look at. one is the role of -- this is so -- this is almost like old al qaeda. it's like the first al qaeda conference that we had, you know? which was what's the nationalist -- what's the nationalist threat that's involved in the plots? it was -- kashmir, it was very naturalist centralist. i guess the question for us and enforcement what will it mean down the road if the people return. they are getting trained, for the most part that's how it seems. they are getting training. they will come back. the somali population from the point of view on law enforcement is something that they are attuned to, need to be attuned
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to, and having a better sense, i mean here's the good news, of immunities than we've had with some of the other communities. the one thing i really worry about in understanding the cases, and i think i said this in the begin, and i want to reiterate it, it's the degree to which the fbi can skew the statistics and make you think we have one threat where we have another threat. and i think it's something that somebody who likes to look at these things, maybe us or somebody else, should look at. i wanted to just take this moment to talk about two different strategies in terms of law enforcement and what's going on. i'm going to do it very briefly, then close with some questions. i'm sure you know the jfk plot was a plot to blow up the fuel lines at john f. kennedy
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airport. was which was an informant case, poorly-argued court case on the point of view of the defense case. it was one the more interesting things that's come out in any of the cases that we've looked at. what came out was the sort of bumbling fool, he was kind of a bumbling fool, that had some idea of jihad who the defense argued couldn't hold a camera, and therefore, couldn't surveil. they were led in the course of this sting to get in touch with people in trinidad, and the at mat narrative of this sting tied. i don't have to explain to you in the room that he is the most unnamed, unknown, unrecognized potential threat to the united states outside of the united states. we all talk about awlaki. i'm hoping that's something that law enforcement is on top of.
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but that's an example of a sting where it actually takes you to understand better what the threat was. and what emerged in a rather convincing way was a tie between iran, the caribbean, and the united states, and it changes the nature of understanding the threat. and i would compare that to a lot of other cases. most recently, the case about four african-americans who are literally lured into attacking a synagogue or if not entirely at the suggestion of the bureau. and so i think what i'm trying to say is that the stings, they skew the statistics. but done right, they can be very important. so you want to make sure they are not going overboard. therefore, we don't really understand what the threat is. having said that, i want to turn to what i think the questions that need to be addressed to this day are going forward. one the them, i just referred to. don't kid yourself about the
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americans abroad. whether it's the five that i mentioned, another somalis, or even some of the fbi people are using, and they are trying to reach out to awlaki, and in some cases, they are reaching out to awlaki. the role is something that law enforcement is much more on top of than i have a sense of. but he creeps up in case after case after case as a much more significant constant than either membership and al qaeda or one the pakistani groups and certainly of shabaab. and it's -- you know, that's where the circles are starting to coalesce. one the things you are worried about is where is going to be the interchange between jihadi groups with home bases. the internet is the place where they can exchange. and the americans abroad are the people that can do it. i wanted to mention that.
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the second thing came up is the intergenerational notion of this. peter 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, what are we? whatever. if you look at the cases and you look at what's happening, there's a significant difference between the first al qaeda, whatever you want to call it, and now. i'd love to know more about that conversation from the point of view of al qaeda 1.0, and even al qaeda 2.0. and largely in terms of use of weapons. i'm not so sure wmds are going to be the weapons of the future. i'm not so sure the hassan case isn't an example. and i'm not so sure that americans abroad who are talking about this, awlaki, aren't beginning to understand and think about the gun issue and how to use guns. i don't want to scare anybody. i think i'll be quiet. we're the kind of -- at the center we're often saying don't
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be worry. you know the fear is over exaggerated. our leadership doesn't understand it. i think for the most part, that is correct. i think that the numbers make it people like there are many more people involved and that there are -- and that there are threats everywhere. what really emerging from these, what's happened in the past two years is that there are much more serious abilities on the part of people who want to harm us that our law enforcement is -- seems to be more on top. but that, i think, something that i think maybe bruce hoffman said earlier was really true. understand we learn to distinguish between different kinds of arrests and different kinds of threats and different kind of threat levels, we're not going to be able to address some of of the nuances that are actually what the threat -- i think i exceeded my time.
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thank you. [applause] [applause] >> thank you, karen. let me quickly amend and revise my comment -- my introduction for peter, since i just kind of quickly glossed over his credentials. he's the director of the international centre for the study of radicalization and political call violence. and there are other colleagues working on the hamilton study commission coming up. we're happy to have him here. he's going to talk about counterradicallization. >> good morning. thank you very much, peter. thank you very much for the invitation. i'm going to speak a little bit about online radicalization. i think it's worth talking about about counterradicallization and
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what it entails, because that's something that i've been working on for a number of months. i think it's a very important topic now because the administration itself is soon going to come up with a color statement in counter-radicalization. this isn't just ab abstract exercise. counter-radicalization is coming to the shores, we better think about the force it is and how it should be done. the first question that i want to answer with this work -- maybe not. ah. is what is counter-radicalization? and the second one is why do we need it? the first question, i believe, is even the more important one. i want to spend a couple of minutes talking about this. because i have found not that people are necessarily student and they don't understand what it is. i found there are a lot of disagreements about the concept. and that it is really worth
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educating both experts and the public about meaning of counter-radicalization. let my first of all begin by saying what it is not. the first thing that it is not, it is not community policing. when i hear secretary napolitano speak quite often, when she talks about countering, all she talks about community policing. it's training police forces, it's educating law enforcement. she essentially conceiving counter-radicalization as a softer, nicer, more cudly form of counterterrorism. counterterrorism with a friendly face essentially still is about policing, finding terrorists, thwarting plots, developing relationships with communities so they can give you tip so you can arrest terrorists. but that is a minor function of counter-radicalization. it is not at the heart of the concept.
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furthermore, counter-radicalization is not deradicallization. it mustn't be confused. you've heard about prison-based counter-radicalization, in places like saudi, iraq. and these deradicallization programs deal with jihadist, former members, former sympathizer who are now being reformed. the audience are radicalized people. the audience of counter-rad programs are nonradicallized people who however maybe targeted by radicalized people for the purpose of radicalization and recruitment. that's an important difference. there are two audiences. counteris not directed apeople who are already terrorists, butt audience for
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counter-radicalization are communities that maybe targeted by terrorists. and that brings us to the heart of the matter, that counter-rad is about radicalization prevention. the aim is prevention. it's about raising awakeness, inoculating communities against the appeal of violent extremism, empowering them to stand up against it. that's what counter-radicalization is about. it's about empowering people to challenge the ideas and the individuals that are spreading violent extremism. and that incidentally is -- can't be coercive. that's why it can't be primarily, or even predominantly about policing. because you are not dealing with threats, you are not even dealing with potential terrorists. that's why it's so terrible when i think policymakers only talk about counterradicallization as a soft form of policing. because it isn't. because that creating an
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entirely wrong perception that feeds into the whole pete king idea that almost are radicalized and they need to be spied upon. counter-rad is not a spying program. at least not when it's properly understand. it's not a policing program. rather than reigning in the unruly muslims, it's about strengthening communities, empowering them, sometimes in partnership with the government, ideally so they can help themselves. what does counter-radicalization consistent of? it's a policy theme, not a single policy. it's delivered and implemented through a multitude of channels and programs. they can come in different forms and shapes. it maybe stand alone activities, round table, say, on the issue of counter-radicalization. more often than that, it is embedded within existing government programs, for example, community safety challenges, provision of good
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governance. certain situations, the government is actually limited to the role of convening relevant parties so that networks and partnerships between nongovernmental actors can be forged. all of these things lead to radicalized. all of the activities can include all sorts of things. but typical activities are messages, outreach, capacity building, and training and education. that's what counter-radicalization is. it's none of the things that i mentioned at the beginning. now the question is do we really need this? now again, it's very difficult to talk about radicalization in this country. nevertheless, counter-radicalization. that's because the terms have been framed in negative ways. that's because of the hearings
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in the country has extremist, that's because senior policymakers constantly talk about, and for those who have dived a little bit deeper into the debate, it is, of course, the british prevent program. the most extensive counter-rad program in the western world, which in many respects was not very trustful, and which fell into the trap of puretizing muslim communities. based on all of the impressions, people of the more liberal, conclude that counter-rad is a terrible idea. it's about criminalizing thought. it's very un-american. and i believe there is another way. so what i would ask you to do for just one second is to forget all of these things, erase them from your mind, and keep an open mind about what i'm going to tell you now. so let's imagine that we have a person, a young person who for whatever reason it is attracted to jihadist ideas, spends a lot
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of time exploring those ideas on the internet, he gets involved in chat rooms, he starts becoming what jerry called an a.t. hobbyist. he connects to people and starts spending most of his life in the virtual world. these are legal activities. indeed, there's no guarantee that this person will ever turn to illegal activities that this person will become a terrorists. in fact, there's a greatest chance still he will not become a terrorists than there are he will become a terrorists. in this country right now, there are two choices of what you do -- what you can do with this person. the first choice is libertarian arguing, which is do nothing. right? he's engaging constitutional-protected ideas. this shouldn't concern 21 what he's doing is legal. the other option is the fbi option. seeing someone like that and
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they are saying, well, right now he's only talking about legal stuff. let's make him do illegal stuff. so we can arrest him and put him into prison. so what they do when they find someone, entrap him, provide him with the plan, give him weapons, and make him push the button. those are starkly speaking, the two choices that are the instruments that are available to us right now. i don't think that's a very good of options that we have right now. i do think this is the way to deal with homegrown terrorism. it's actually in many ways very counterproductive. both options are very counterproductive. in fact, the person that i was talking about was someone called muhammad, it is the person that tried to blow up the christmas
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lighting at portland, oregon, at the end of last year. this was actually a 19-year-old guy that was like the person i just described. jihadist. and to their credit, his parents at some point picked up on it. and not only did they pick up on it, which is already pretty good, they actually reported him to the fbi. imagine that. your parents pick up that you are doing bad stuff on your computer and your own parents report you to the fbi. they couldn't have been better citizens of this country. reporting their own son to the police because they thought he was a danger to this country. what happened? the fbi said great, let's set up the sting, entrap him, make him do something he might not have considered doing, might not have been able to do, and send him to police for 30 years. it is what happened. is that really a satisfactory outcome? is that all we can do? actually what kind of message
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does that send to communities? what kind of message does that stone -- that send to parents? would you report your son to the police if you knew he would be entrapped? clearly there are other things we can do. that's the third option, the counter-rad option. a good counter-rad program just about maybe might have increased the chances of preventing this from happening. we still don't know. now it's about what had him so radicalized. there often is a confusion about identity, social economic deprivation, lack of opportunities and general prevention would have softened the blow of that. maybe counter-rad could have created educated members of the community what's going on. as we al qaeda geeks, we always
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seem to assume that every muslim knows at anwar awlaki, muslim parents are often as confused as my parents could have been. education is awareness, because they would have picked up at it earlier. that would have been a second step. then, of course, at the point where they called the fbi, counter-rad could have provided support, rather than entrapment. in britain, for example, you have to so-called channel program which provides community interventions in cases like muhammad. communities come together, and together with the government, provide support, ecological, socioeconomical support. all of these options that i just described, i think would have
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been preferable to the fbi entrapment option. none of these options could exist. i very much hope over the course of the next years, we can start developing them. it would actually in the sense of what karen talked about, provide us with a more honest account of the numbers in this country. thank you very much. [applause] >> good afternoon. is this on? my name is juliette kayyem. i recently left the obama administration and department of homeland security, i wanted to give my thoughts on 9/11 years later. i was just thinking i'm taping a segment for nickelodeon.
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nickelodeon news on ten years later, which i'm hoping the discussion will be more elevated than that, but less on the government talking points. so here we go. i spent -- have spent the last five years in homeland security, more on the counterterrorism side than the terrorism analysis side. and essentially the rough and tumble politics of state and local government as well the federal government. my role at the department of homeland security was working with as the term intergovernmental will affly, -- apply, essentially the homeland. i think that's what makes counterterrorism policies within the united states so interesting. and varied, because it's just simply not monolithic. the best example i can give you is just to simply look at logan airport. where logan airport is has a
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tremendous history regarding september 11th. if you are driving up to logan airport, you have essentially on highway facilities that are governed securitywise by the state police. the state police report up through a state public safety apparatus which i over saw that report up to the governor. if you are coming up to the street, or city streets in boston, the security apparatus of boston police who then report to the police commissioner, and of course, then the mayor. once you get there were there is an intricate, which would govern if you are going to logan, govern you walking up, getting your ticket, and, of course, once you get to the security arena, then it falls over to tsa, which reports up to
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homeland security, secretary napolitano, and president obama. and that's just one airport. you can just imagine the interplay of local, state, territorial, tribal, and federal in securing the homeland. and i just say that because i think a lot of times i certainly discovered this at the department, a lot of times we tend to view a lot of this as federal. it's certainly is not. we are a small piece of what we came to describe in this secretary administration can describe as the homeland security enterprise which i will talk to at the end. i think it's very important to lay at the beginning. the second thing that i wanted to just remind folks is that for a lot of terrorism, we're just consumers of intelligence. not that i'm not interested. but i can't -- i just want to be a consumer. there's just simply too much information out there, i think bruce talked about just the overwhelming amount of information and threats. but what that means is we are sort of entirely dependent on a
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very good intelligence committee, which i think there are just a lot of tremendous work going on there. but we are simply just receiving it. so if you ask ask -- if you wonr why is someone doing something or apparatus that looks that way, it's because the intelligence is certainly driving it that way. it's the way it ought to be. but in terms of counterterrorism, just even given some of the debates that have been going on here, you can imagine how difficult it is, say for the police chief in dubuque, iowa -- i don't know what city the dentist was in, whatever we talk about. let my just talk about three overarching changes or themes. one is money, money, money. my husband used to joke for me for those of us in the academy on 9/11, you know, that essentially anyone who wasn't in the terrorism field couldn't get a lot of support. bruce eluded to this as well over the ten years. that's certainly not true.
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the world rightfully and the united states have moved on. that's playing out on the state and local field in way that is are just tremendously apparent in the fiscal debates going on. in each state house and in each city. just imagine if you are a govern or mayor, and you are looking at rising crime, and your inability to educate children in urban area, or you are looking at health care cost, or you are looking at state employee retirement funds, you know, whatever the debate is going to be of the moment. you are not talking, thinking, or probably even prioritizing democrat or republican, oh, i really have to focus my state or local apparatus on homeland security. this is one the great consequences of their being essentially no successful attack on u.s. soil. it is just out there. so it is just not part of the debate in the homeland. certainly it is in a room like this, and it is in the national security community and in the federal government.
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but it's just the dynamic is so different once you get out into the homeland, so to speak. secondly, the narrative. i think it's really important to remember that there is only one governor who was governor on september 11th still in office. governor perry from texas. you can ma'am, that's just sort of replayed in every city as well. that is not true of the national security apparatus on the federal side. most people who are in are, you know, crossing the partisan politics areas of the state and obama and the people that you've heard from. those of us tend to change the christmas help as i'd like to say. the people who have been there 20 or 30 years. it doesn't matter, it matters who the president is. those aren't going to have insignificant changes on the day-to-day. the narrative and political culture has just changed. it's not democratic or republican.
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it's simply who was in place at the time of september 11. so when you think about the governors and mayors who are all new, that's just not a part of their governance history. and i think that's just important to remember as we approach the anniversary is just that is just a very different feel, i think, certainly at the end of the bush administration, but certainly in the early years after 9/11. and something to just note as we are coming to that anniversary. third, i think, while everything is political, i do believe that, having dealt with local politics. i think we shouldn't look at it as just democratic or republican. we should look at it in a politics sense. that has made to the homeland security apparatus and the counterterrorism more difficult, i think, over time. i think for the bush administration, when it wanted
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to self-correct and certainly for the obama administration which came in with a different view points about certain things. so i think a perfect example is the color code system. i think by the end of the administration, bush administration, they had essentially stopped using it. we certainly game in thinking it was not a helpful tool. the secretary napolitano has led a change in the interagency to get better about how we are informing the public. what are you supposed to do? nonetheless, it took a while, even coming into essentially 19 months since we came into office to change that system. and i think the reason why, or one the reasons why is not just the federal interagency, but the amount of dependency that has gone on in both systems out in the field on the state and local. you can just imagine every state, every local, every city and urban police department that was triggered to the color alert
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system ways that airports were thinking about security. so it didn't matter the color, but that actually corresponded with how many people were out in the field. this was an entire apparatus was tied and political apparatus that was tied to color code. another is the challenges. i'm a lawyer, but i don't practice anymore. so i just want to talk about the politics of gitmo. i think what the administration wanted to do regarding whether they were trialing in new york or bringing the detailees on to u.s. soil are confound and not only by federal politics, but obviously you have to remember by local politics. these are -- when you say i want to bring detainees to the united states, you are not bringing them to the united states, you are bringing them to a state with a governor or jurisdiction with mayor and county commissioner. whatever it is going to be. those are multiplied because are
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dealing with the homeland. i want to leave time for question and answer. let me go through a few things that i think are challenges and changes as we approach the ten year anniversary. i think in, and it'll be interesting to hear, i think intelligence sharing with state and locals is still incredibly hard. the bush administration trying to begin to bring down and share intelligence. we continued to do that in the obama administration through a number of programs, fusion centers, whatever else, to share information. but for the most part, the intelligence is being shared is just still very difficult to make actionable. what are we supposed to do with it? so you have a lot of intelligence and information being shared. but i think that's a challenge that's sort of a primary, or priority of secretary napolitano, in terms of orientation. i'm not going to get into it
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because i think your points were right. it's very difficult to find that space between the fbi and leaving everyone alone. i think it's just very difficult. i look toward to some of the recommendations that come out of it. i think the government has a lot to learn from people who are out in the field doing that. on resiliency, i actually think it is a good news story. i don't know why it's a good news story. because i actually think both after 9/11 and hurricane katrina and i think we might add the bp oil spill, maybe they are having more to do with private industry getting serious about resiliency than anything the government said. it doesn't matter who's driving it. i think it's good news. i think our capacity to get back to normal is something that the government is very focused on, or supporting the private sector, more can be done, certainly, but i think that's a much better story. and that gets to the fourth
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point, which is the homeland security enterprise, or my fourth and last point and the tone of homeland security and counterterrorism ten years later. i think when you talk about terrorism and al qaeda, you have to talk about how is the u.s. responding and public responding? someone said in the earlier panel, and this is absolutely true, until you enter government, you don't really know it. the zero tolerance for mistake. and it -- it's not the zero, one percent rule or anything, it is literally how unforgiving people are, or how unforgiving it seems when you are in government about the potential that there could be terrorism or terrorists attacks. now racial people out in the real world, i think, are much more adult about this. and actuallily recognize that there are bad things in the world and they can come from mother nature or from private industry, or from a bad terrorists. but i think that zero tolerance
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sort of still animates the post 9/11 environment. i think if there's anything that we should look at, it's sort of the tone about how our leadership talks about counterterrorism and the terrorists threat and homeland security, not simply as it applies to the islamic community, but i think writ large. i think one the successes, i know there's criticisms on the panel and others about how far the administration has taken things. i think one the major pluses is the -- given the number of real terrorists attacks in this administration, that the tone is just simply not fear all the time. it is not to make the american public fearful. we -- i think that is a conscious decision and something that we should think about about being able to sort of explore that dialogue as well. it's just there have been real and almost successful terrorists attacks over the course of the
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last nearly 18 or 19 months. and how we talk about them and sort of keeping our head on straight and getting other political leadership on state and local feds to talk in the same way is going to be, i think, hopefully a long term as we enter the 10th anniversary. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> now barry lynn. >> thank you, patrick. and the -- also my job today, i guess, is to deliver some of the not so good news. juliette mentioned -- she mentioned the word resiliency, there is some good news in government. some of them had been made. what i do, i look at resiliency
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within the private sector, within the industrial system, and, you know, frankly, it's -- there has not been very much progress over the last ten years. in fact, it's generally we're going in the opposite direction. what i wanted to start with is the sort of slide that gives you a picture of two ships. and sort of just talked very briefly about how the two ships were constructed to give you a sense about how the industrial system now constructed. the first ship is a ship that's called the great eastern. and this is a ship that was launched in 1858. there was the first ship that was said to be unsinkable. and this ship was -- it was designed by an engineer, very famous engineer in england, named [inaudible] this is a guy who made the amazing railroads and amazing bridges, and these buildings
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made out of iron. he also then one day turned his attention to this ship. so that nothing would ever knock it down. and what he built into it was a double hull. he built in three modes of power. he built in a stem to the stern bulk head, and 13 compartments. what happened is then in '62, four years after the launch, this ship hit a rock off of montauk point. that rock ripped a hole that was nine feet wide and 83 feet deep. because they had the compartments, they managed to keep afloat, they got it into port, they fixed it, it spent the next 45 years going across the sea, going across the cable. the other ship is titanic, which
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is launched 50 years after the great eastern hit that rock. the titanic was said to be unsinkable. when they were having the ship designed, they were having a few things left out. they wanted the ship to be more efficient, i don't know if they want the to lower prices or raise their profits. but we -- they left out a few things. they left out the -- two of the modes of transportation, not so important, they left out the -- some lifeboats as we learned afterwards, they also left out the thing called the bulk head deck. there was the story that there was a 300 foot-long gash in the side of the titanic. turned out not to be true. they found the little splits in the front of the titanic. six little slits. the total amount of s


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